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  • Spirits as Pagan Gods

    Werewolf line ( and CoD universe at large ) assumes that Spirits are ‘animalistic’ spiritual reflection of the concepts. However, in Forsaken by Rome Dark Era, we have direct pointing that local Spirits like to ‘dress up’ as close to mortal gods as possible, to feed on Essence of local worship humans do on similar concepts. Here is quote about this:


    Originally posted by Dark Eras Companion – Forsaken by Rome, page 59
    Rome’s Hisil began no differently than anywhere else’s. Rome’s Triumphs fed the spirits on victory, pride, and con*quest. King Numa quelled the laresriotous hunger with a steady supply of spirits ensnared by his boundary stones. The lares grew fat and complacent, most becoming Magath. The most powerful among them, the Maters, took the names and forms of Rome’s gods. It seemed that Rome would forever remain ascendant, and the spirits forgot their natural ways.
    So how popular is practice of local Spirits to mask as avatars of gods from mortal myths?


    Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
    My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
    MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events

  • #2
    To quote Lore of the Forsaken:
    WAYS OF THE GODS
    Storyteller’s Note: It may feel natural to portray the Incarnae and Celestines as beings akin to the Greek or Roman gods — interesting, sympathetic in scope and essentially human, despite all their vaunted power. These beings are not like that, though. Certainly the Celestines (and even the Incarnae) are godlike figures and wield colossal, near-unlimited power, but, even when concerning themselves directly with the Uratha, they are not remotely human in their mindset or desire.

    The book - and even the quote you give - points out that this isn't the natural way of spirits, and Magaths are practically always insane, even by spirit standards.

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    • #3
      I have it be relatively common. Many nature spirits in my games naturally take the shapes of serpents to look more like Rainbow Serpents, while artificial spirits keep taking on the mantles of the goanna Dirawong.

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      • #4
        Is it spirits claiming that they are the gods believed in by humans, or spirits claiming to be avatars and messengers of gods believed in by humans? The latter is natural and common, the former is neither.


        MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
          Is it spirits claiming that they are the gods believed in by humans, or spirits claiming to be avatars and messengers of gods believed in by humans? The latter is natural and common, the former is neither.
          I point that Spirit is claiming ( telling himself ) that he is god of mortals. But as centuries pass, he evolve to work AS god of mortals beliefs.

          Example I have in mind right now - Water Elemental of the Lake lives peacfully by millions of years. Then comes mortals tribe beliving that in the Lake lives goddess of virginity and plowing. So, as sensing large quantites of Essence of belife connected to Lake, but with Resonance of Earth ( Plowing ) and Chastity ( Virgins ) hanged on, she evolves to encompass those concepts, even if still being Water Elemental first. And she takes mortal tribe godes as one of her spirits name.

          At least it's how I seeing this now.

          Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
          To quote Lore of the Forsaken:
          WAYS OF THE GODS
          Storyteller’s Note: It may feel natural to portray the Incarnae and Celestines as beings akin to the Greek or Roman gods — interesting, sympathetic in scope and essentially human, despite all their vaunted power. These beings are not like that, though. Certainly the Celestines (and even the Incarnae) are godlike figures and wield colossal, near-unlimited power, but, even when concerning themselves directly with the Uratha, they are not remotely human in their mindset or desire.
          Being or not being human-like in their thought, does not make them less 'mortal gods' of appropiate Influances. Our main Moon God is called Luna and worshipped like such by Romans - even if it's much more cosmic half-alien entity of the Moon itself, than proper ‘Lady of the Night’. Even Luna uses the Masks made to resembles mortal myths – just to make easier time communicating with mortals and to reaping Essence from their worship.

          Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
          The book - and even the quote you give - points out that this isn't the natural way of spirits, and Magaths are practically always insane, even by spirit standards.
          I would argue that Magath are insane – they are mad FOR OTHER SPIRITS standards. You know – standards in that each being should all be about only one thing, like Spirits of Trees or Spirit of Love. Often, Magath will be something truly ‘wrong’ – like pin trees spirit mixed with monster truck – but there are ways seemingly mismatched Influences can create more or less coherent being, working under guise of mortal myths. Gods-spirits more or less working with according to mortals myths, but MUCH more animalistic in it’s behavior. And to humans seeing it – it works as god of it’s myths, even if it’s much more ‘primal’ in acting than god from his stories should be.

          Werewolves are all ‘Magaths are BAD!’, because Uratha being half-spirits go all the way to seeing world in ‘bring true’ or ‘not being true’ to it’s nature. Werewolves wants to see world in ways of white and black – and Magaths are contradiction to this primal instincts. Look on the mages – they do not say that any spirit is ‘unnatural’ and they are more than accustomed to seeing spiritual ‘avatars’ of local gods as spirits masquerading as human myths.


          Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
          My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
          MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
            Werewolves are all ‘Magaths are BAD!’, because Uratha being half-spirits go all the way to seeing world in ‘bring true’ or ‘not being true’ to it’s nature. Werewolves wants to see world in ways of white and black – and Magaths are contradiction to this primal instincts. Look on the mages – they do not say that any spirit is ‘unnatural’ and they are more than accustomed to seeing spiritual ‘avatars’ of local gods as spirits masquerading as human myths.
            Taking what Awakened find reasonable is not a good way to find things that count as normal. Mages are, by definition, also insane. Just like Magaths. They are all obsessed with strange things, and have an extreme tendency to ignore what should be, in favour of what they find more convenient. So if a Mage benefits from a spirit being a Hybrid, who cares what it does to the local ecosystem? The Mage is generally sure they can handle the fallout. That's hubris, after all.
            Also, they aren't as close to the Shadow as Uratha and Spirits are.

            Also, just because they are used to seeing god-structures in the Astral, it doesn't mean that they are natural in the Shadow.

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            • #7
              Okay, really, what's so 'unnatural' in Magaths, beside 'weird' Influence connections? You talk to me that you cannot have seen 'Magaths' that truly should be natural Spirits evolution, just some Choir do not like that they exist, as they are competition?

              Owl Spirits can evolve to Night Spirits, Predatory Spirits or even just random Wisdom Spirits - and that's all okay. But when we take Water Elemental and we give it Earth Influence, then suddenly new 'Mud' Elemental is 'unnatural'? Mud is part of reality and more than natural in Material World - but it's suddenly problem with Elemental Choirs.

              Really, point me to Major Pagan God that could not work as natural evolution of Spirit then - most I think can easily be just Spirits collecting Influences as time goes on. Let's focus on Roman and Norse pantheons, as we have Dark Eras for those to play with.


              Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
              My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
              MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                Owl Spirits can evolve to Night Spirits, Predatory Spirits or even just random Wisdom Spirits - and that's all okay. But when we take Water Elemental and we give it Earth Influence, then suddenly new 'Mud' Elemental is 'unnatural'? Mud is part of reality and more than natural in Material World - but it's suddenly problem with Elemental Choirs.
                None of the things you just mentioned are Magaths.

                The whole point of Magath's is that it's a fusion that doesn't make spiritual sense, like an Owl Spirit and a Needle Spirit.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                  None of the things you just mentioned are Magaths.
                  From my reading of Predators book, Mud Elemental would be Magath, with having Water and Earth Influences, as it needs to be in two Choirs at once.

                  Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                  The whole point of Magath's is that it's a fusion that doesn't make spiritual sense, like an Owl Spirit and a Needle Spirit.
                  Point me how Roman or Norse gods would be Magaths then - most have one Influence or two closely related. I still do not see them as 'Bad Magaths', because I truly cannot think about idea that would be contradictory in them.

                  All difference between Mortal Gods and Spirits Gods is that myth based Spirits Gods will be more 'simplistic' in their actions and inhuman in reasoning. And that Mortal God can be possibly only one in the whole world, where Spirit Gods 'dressing' as him is localized - if there are many places associated with myth about God, in ALL of this places can be one another Spirit on it, each widely different - as each Spirit God is trying to emulate myth, not creating it completely.
                  Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-16-2017, 09:03 AM.


                  Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
                  My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
                  MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                    From my reading of Predators book, Mud Elemental would be Magath, with having Water and Earth Influences, as it needs to be in two Choirs at once.
                    A mud spirit isn't a magath. It's a spirit of mud.
                    A Magath is a spirit of incompatible elements.

                    Originally posted by Predators, Various places in the book
                    When circumstances force spirits together of
                    totally different idioms, the result is often unfortunate — a magath
                    ...
                    a dog-spirit may become more
                    “doglike” as it gains strength by absorbing dog-Essence,
                    or it may become more oriented to the aspect
                    of “hunter” by consuming a variety of prey-animalspirits.
                    It may also, if driven by circumstance, begin
                    to hunt outside its “natural” prey, an act that is not
                    without consequences. A dog-spirit that, when driven
                    into an industrial area of the spiritual cityscape, absorbs
                    predominantly technology-related Essence may
                    find its thought process becoming more logical and
                    less predatory, while it begins manifesting circuitry
                    patterns in its fur. In time, this creature may become
                    one of the outcast magath.
                    ...
                    Whatever the actual origin, some nature-spirits have
                    much in common with conceptuals or other spirits
                    outside the nature choirs. A raven-spirit may gather
                    in a brood with death-spirits, or even take on aspects
                    of a death-spirit itself without becoming magath or
                    falling too far from the concept of what it is to be the
                    spirit of “raven.” Such is the nature of the Shadow
                    Most spirits limit their predations either to
                    similar spirits (vehicles feeding on vehicles or trees
                    on trees, for example) or to those that would serve
                    as prey in the material world. Thus a wolf-spirit may
                    safely prey upon other wolf-type spirits, strengthening
                    its identity as a wolf, or it may prey upon hare-, squirrel-
                    or even stag-spirits, as would its natural counterpart.
                    The problem comes when a spirit breaks out of
                    the natural order of things and by choice or circumstance,
                    preys on spirits drastically differing from those
                    it normally would.
                    Basically, spirits can feed on what is fitting, but when they feed on stuff that isn't. They go insane.

                    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                    Point me how Roman or Norse gods would be Magaths then - most have one Influence or two closely related. I still do not see them as 'Bad Magaths', because I truly cannot think about idea that would be contradictory in them.
                    The gods wouldn't be, but the mad spirits who imitated them, were. Here, I'll show you a quote.
                    Originally posted by Dark Eras Companion – Forsaken by Rome, page 59
                    Rome’s Hisil began no differently than anywhere else’s. Rome’s Triumphs fed the spirits on victory, pride, and con*quest. King Numa quelled the laresriotous hunger with a steady supply of spirits ensnared by his boundary stones. The lares grew fat and complacent, most becoming Magath. The most powerful among them, the Maters, took the names and forms of Rome’s gods. It seemed that Rome would forever remain ascendant, and the spirits forgot their natural ways.
                    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                    All difference between Mortal Gods and Spirits Gods is that myth based Spirits Gods will be more 'simplistic' in their actions and inhuman in reasoning. And that Mortal God can be possibly only one in the whole world, where Spirit Gods 'dressing' as him is localized - if there are many places associated with myth about God, in ALL of this places can be one another Spirit on it, each widely different - as each Spirit God is trying to emulate myth, not creating it completely.
                    What is a "Mortal God"?

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                    • #11
                      Water and earth to make mud isn't unnatural. Lava and bees are. The thing about spirits attempting to appropriate a pantheon is that you have dissimilar concepts embodied by the same spirit, such as Lightning and Patriarchy.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
                        The gods wouldn't be, but the mad spirits who imitated them, were. Here, I'll show you a quote.
                        It's only pointing that many of them become Magath - not all of them.

                        Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
                        What is a "Mortal God"?
                        It's a short hand for 'Gods from myths of Mortals' in contrast to Spirits Gods.

                        Originally posted by Malus View Post
                        The thing about spirits attempting to appropriate a pantheon is that you have dissimilar concepts embodied by the same spirit, such as Lightning and Patriarchy.
                        You mention here Zeus, Greek god. But Roman and Norse gods are much more primal in the end. Jupiter is not about Lighting and Patriarchy, it's about Lighting and War - that both are related much more - I would even say on the same level as Ravens and Death, symbolicly.
                        Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-16-2017, 10:34 AM.


                        Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
                        My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
                        MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                          You mention here Zeus, Greek god. But Roman and Norse gods are much more primal in the end. Jupiter is not about Lighting and Patriarchy, it's about Lighting and War - that both are related much more - I would even say on the same level as Ravens and Death, symbolicly.
                          Well, do lightning and war occur together in nature? As in, not what humans associate with, because that would be Astral territory. Ravens and death sure do occur together, regardless of human influences and perspectives.

                          Which is why I (and most of us here, I think) strongly claim that a spirit is best left claiming to be a fraction of deities worshipped by humans, rather than actually trying to become something that humans already believe in. A lightning spirit, justice spirit, virility spirit, and patriarchy spirit can all separately claim to be aspects of Zeus. When one of them tries to eat everyone else to become the "true" Zeus, that's when the problems start.

                          If a spirit wants to become what humans identify as a god, without risking Magath-dom, it would have a better chance trying to become those primal "old gods" that technically aren't worshipped because they're far too much removed from humanity. There's a good reason why the three top-tier spirits whose names we know of take their names from Titans and Protogenoi, rather than one of the Olympians.


                          MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
                            To quote Lore of the Forsaken:
                            WAYS OF THE GODS
                            Storyteller’s Note: It may feel natural to portray the Incarnae and Celestines as beings akin to the Greek or Roman gods — interesting, sympathetic in scope and essentially human, despite all their vaunted power. These beings are not like that, though. Certainly the Celestines (and even the Incarnae) are godlike figures and wield colossal, near-unlimited power, but, even when concerning themselves directly with the Uratha, they are not remotely human in their mindset or desire.
                            The Greek and Roman gods were notoriously human-like, it was probably the point, bringing them halfway down to Earth. I think you could have a balance where a spirit pretends to be Zeus, for instance, appearing as an older, stronger patriarch with lightning about him, but doesn't necessarily act like, say, Zeus from Clash of the Titans or a 'human' god with human mannerisms, instead acting like the predatory spirit it would be.

                            Basically, spirits can feed on what is fitting, but when they feed on stuff that isn't. They go insane.
                            Yeah, but the thing is there's different ways to feed. 'Regular' river spirits are frequently called up as wanting human sacrifice throughout Werewolf. Dead humans aren't necessarily associated with rivers, these rivers aren't always 'drowning rivers' or whatever. Spirits can get Essence from reverence and veneration, even if it doesn't directly involve adding more 'river' to the river.

                            As for wyrdhamster's question I think it would depend a lot on the area. Appearing as a god isn't going to influence a lot of people so much as scare them nowadays and there's so many fractured ideas of what a god looks like, and even prohibitions of depicting gods so that one might never know what they're meant to. But I do think there's examples here and there of them appearing as angels, albeit twisted ones, and obviously they already act like traditional demons, especially when they go about Urging. And obviously a powerful spirit can just say, 'I am god of the river,' and they're likely being honest, for all intents and purposes, even if the human meeting them has no idea about animism or any power related to the river.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                              It's only pointing that many of them become Magath - not all of them.
                              No, but most. And they shaped the majority view. Who took up the mantle of Gods. Which was done by insane spirits.
                              It's also worth mentioning that these Mater spirits failed badly in acting like gods. Panicking and cannibalizing each other as soon as things went pear-shaped.



                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              It's a short hand for 'Gods from myths of Mortals' in contrast to Spirits Gods.
                              You talking Astral entities, or just the tales?

                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              You mention here Zeus, Greek god. But Roman and Norse gods are much more primal in the end. Jupiter is not about Lighting and Patriarchy, it's about Lighting and War - that both are related much more - I would even say on the same level as Ravens and Death, symbolicly.
                              Ravens feast on corpses, do lightnings stem from war? Or War stem from lightnings, perhaps?
                              Ravens are intrinsically connected to death, being carrion birds. Wolves and eagles are also connected with war, due to them feeding off of the dead and dying.

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